Monday, June 3, 2013

Review: Persia Blues

Persia Blues is written by Dara Naraghi and drawn by Brent Bowman.  It is another comic I picked up at SPACE this year.  The specific comic I have is the “Special Preview”.  Persia Blues is the story of Minoo Shirazi, who is a rebellious young woman in modern Iran. But it is also the story if Minoo Shirazi, an adventurer in a Conan-like and ancient Persia-like world.  In the preview issue, the stories do not connect in any way, though I’m sure there’s something more to be seen.  Further issues are available in digital or print version.  Check out the Persia Blues website for details.

Brett does some very interesting artwork in this comic, because the two settings of the story are drawn in very different styles.  The ancient Persia story is in a painterly black and white and grey reminiscent of the old Savage Sword of Conan magazine.  The modern setting is done with simple black line work.  Brent is very strong with emotional scenes and character expression.  And expression is very important, as the story covers a lot of feelings people in modern Iran have about the social and political climate in the country.  Dara also tends to write plenty of words in each panel, which is something I particularly like.  It makes silent, or almost silent, panels have more impact and helps the pacing of the story a lot.  I wish more modern comic writers would understand that, while they don’t need to be overly wordy, they need enough words to make the characters’ personalities apparent.
Iran is, of course, not the favorite location of most Americans.  Though I wonder how many truly understand, or even try to understand, the people of the region.  It’s easy to hate a country whose leaders constantly declare war on us without a thought as to what the citizens of the country do and think.  Personally, I remember the first time I ever heard of Iran, when I was in 5th grade, was when during the hostage crisis.  That’s not a very good beginning memory.  However, I also remember people telling me that a nuclear war with the USSR was inevitable in my lifetime.  Things can change.  Dara, by the way, was born in Iran and educated in the United States.  He’s done work for many comic companies such as DC, Dark Horse, and IDW.  So there’s a lot of work of his out there.  I’d invite everyone to check some of his stuff out!  Start with Persia Blues!

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